There's Xerox and photocopying. There's Bisleri and packaged water. And then there's the Activa and the gearless scooter. But, there's also the Access and the 125cc scooter.
Also, once in a while you'd like to say Ricoh or HP. And try an Aquafina perhaps. Or maybe, even buy a TVS Jupiter. But for the longest time, the 125cc scooter class only had the Access and the slower, equally dull looking, and less comfortable Activa 125.
So, even if you wanted, you couldn't really steer clear of the Suzuki. And let's not bring up the Mahindra scooters in this conversation. Yes, they never really registered on anyone's radar.
But now, with the Grazia and the Ntorq, the 125cc gearless scooter field has been thrown wide open. These are both more stylish, better equipped, and promise equally potent – if not better – twist-and-go performance as the Access.
Lighting it up
The Grazia has been on the market for longer. And not surprisingly, it's already making inroads in the 125cc class. It's a dramatic looking scooter, at least from the front. I wouldn't call it sporty, or a design icon, or youthful even, but it does grab eyeballs. The LED headlamp – a first in its class feature – takes the lion’s share of the credit here. But, the rakish front apron contributes handsomely to the scooter’s attractive stance as well.
Engine wise, the same 125cc engine as the Activa 125 powers the Grazia. And, it sports identical output figures of 8.5bhp and 10.5Nm. But, the Grazia is lighter by a kilo. And, it has a seat height of just 766mm. Both of which make the scooter quite manageable within city confines.
As far as features go, it gets digital instrumentation complete with a rev-counter, a phone charging point, and good storage. The latter is the hallmark of a good scooter. The underseat storage on the Grazia is deep – helped by the 10-inch rear wheel. And even the floorboard is wide and long. We also liked the conventional position for the carry-hook. Coming back to that LED headlamp, I just wish it illuminated the road better.
The Ntorq gets a regular headlamp. And if there’s anything that makes the scooter look ordinary, the lack of an LED headlamp is it. But, the TVS does get a fancy LED tail lamp and in that sense with the Grazia getting a boring, regular, bulb-equipped tail lamp, the scooters have a completely opposite approach to lighting.
Not so when it comes to styling though. Like the Honda, the Ntorq too grabs eyeballs. But, instead of using curves to give the design a softer, more universal appeal, the TVS is edgy, bold, and sporty. You can also only have it in matte colours; another ‘sporty’ move if you will. But, the matte finish makes the Ntorq look a bit too plasticky. Gloss would have done wonders here.
The engine meanwhile is a new one. And, it is the first 125cc scooter engine that TVS has built. In terms of output, it is near identical to the Honda. It makes almost 9bhp and 10.5Nm. But, the TVS is heavier, by almost 10kg. Thankfully, that weight is well distributed. So, unless you are pushing it around, you’d be hard-pressed to tell.
Feature wise, the Ntorq is quite loaded. For starters, it gets much nicer digital instrumentation. And it is way more detailed in the information it presents; not all of which is useful, of course. There’s acceleration and top speed readouts, a lap timer, and an average speed readout as well. More importantly, it also comes with Bluetooth connectivity that allows the IP to give the rider turn-by-turn navigational instructions.
The Ntorq also gets an illuminated underseat storage, a USB charging port, and a fuel filler that’s on the tail instead of under the seat. And, it’s also the only scooter to come with an engine kill switch. As far as the underseat storage goes, it isn’t as good as on the Grazia, courtesy the TVS’ 12-inch wheels at both ends. The larger wheels also result in a higher seat height.
However, hop off the Grazia and onto the Ntorq and it’s immediately clear, the TVS has the better ergonomics. The Honda feels like any other scooter - low seat height along with a waist high handlebar. The Ntorq is more like a motorcycle. There’s more distance between the floorboard and the seat.
And the handlebar is higher too, which if nothing else, makes hanging U-turns for taller riders a breeze. So, not only is the TVS more comfortable on longer rides, it gives the rider better leverage and more confidence as a result.
The Ntorq also has the better-judged suspension setup. The ride for instance is way more comfortable. Both scooters might use telescopic front suspension and a single coil-over unit at the rear, but the TVS’ is more effective. There’s less movement and shock for the rider while tackling bumps and potholes.
Even when it comes to dynamics, the TVS has the edge. It is more stable in a straight line, it goes around a roundabout with more accuracy and feel, and thanks to those tyres, it can lean quite far. Now, even though it doesn’t get combined braking like the Honda, we’d still pick the Ntorq’s brakes for their better bite, feel and consistency. Needless to say, the TVS is more fun.
As far as engine specs go, there’s nothing to choose between the two on paper. The Honda, however, is lighter.
But, in the real world, the TVS is faster. Not only is it quicker to 60kmph by almost a second, it also registered a higher top speed. Plus, the engine is more refined compared to the Grazia. And under full bore acceleration, while the Honda begins to sound strained and coarse near the top end, the TVS just seems happy to be wringed alive.
Surprisingly, the Grazia – given its lighter weight – didn’t register a higher fuel economy figure in our city runs. The Honda returned 45.9kmpl while the Ntorq returned 45.3kmpl.
As is clear, the Ntorq scores over the Grazia on almost every parameter. And in areas where it doesn’t, it manages to draw level. The Ntorq has better seating; it has a more refined drivetrain; it is quicker; it handles and brakes better; and it is the more comfortable scooter in this test.
The Grazia, meanwhile, does manage to hold its own when it comes to design, and with it, desirability. It also returns fuel efficiency similar to the TVS. And clearly that LED headlamp is a big draw for people.
But, it’s the TVS Ntorq that’s both the better product and the better buy. And therefore, our winner.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
|Parameters||Max Points||Honda Grazia 125 DLX||TVS Ntorq 125|
|Looks & styling||10||7||7|
|Ergonomics & Quality||10||5.5||6|
|Features & Tech||10||6||7|
|Engine & Gearbox||10||5.5||6|
|Handling & Braking||10||5||6|
|Price & Warranty||10||6||6|
|Model||Ntorq 125||Grazia 125|
|Max Power||9.10bhp at 7500rpm||8.52 at 6500rpm|
|Max Torque||10.50 at 5500rpm||10.54 at 5000rpm|
|0-60kmph||7.4 secs||8 secs|
|Suspension R||Single-coil over damper||Single-coil over damper|
|Brakes F||220mm disc||190mm disc (optional)|
|Brakes R||130mm drum||130mm drum|
|Tyre F||100/80-12 (Tubeless)||90/90-12 (Tubeless)|
|Tyre R||110/80-12 (Tubeless)||90/100-10 (Tubeless)|
|Fuel Tank||5 litres||5.30 litres|
|L x H||1865mm x 1160mm||1812mm x 1146mm|
|Kerb Weight||116 kg||107 kg|
|Price (on-road, Mumbai)||Rs 74,460||Rs 75,496|